Group of House Republicans Propose to Reinvent State Government for the 21st Century
HARRISBURG – With a focus on creating better government, more economic prosperity and stronger communities, state Reps. Seth Grove (R-York), Stephen Bloom (R-Cumberland), Matthew Dowling (R-Fayette/Somerset), Jonathan Fritz (R-Susquehanna/Wayne), Frank Ryan (R-Lebanon), Justin Walsh (R-Westmoreland) and House Majority Whip Bryan Cutler (R-Lancaster) unveiled legislation on Wednesday to do what’s best for Pennsylvania by bringing sweeping changes to streamline and improve state government.

“This package of bills moves to modernize our agencies in a continuance of House Republicans’ efforts to restructure government,” Cutler said. “The end result of these mergers would be an easier-to-navigate government that truly works for the people.”

Included in the legislative package is a bill by Grove to merge the Budget Office, the Department of General Services, the Office of Administration and the Governor’s Office of Policy and Planning into one agency called the Office of Management and Budget (OMB).

“This new agency would oversee every aspect of the Commonwealth’s governance, including budget preparation, managing state expenditures and handling all procurement, human relations and information technology,” Grove said. “By improving the coordination between these core function of government the state can improve delivery of government services to the people of Pennsylvania.”

Under a separate bill by Ryan, the Department of Labor and Industry would be merged with functions from the Department of Community and Economic Development (DCED) and Department of State to create the new Department of Business, Tourism and Workforce Development (DBTWD).

“The DBTWD would have a singular mission of private sector job growth to tell the world that Pennsylvania is open for business,” Ryan said. “The new one-stop shop would allow Pennsylvania to better compete in a global economy.”

Dowling’s bill would create the Department of Local Government and Community Affairs (DLGCA), which would be comprised of powers and authorities from DCED and the Department of State.

“It is time for the state to provide local governments with a state agency which focuses on assisting them to build stronger communities. This new department would oversee and assist counties with managing elections and help local governments apply for eligible grant and tax credit programs transferred from DCED,” Dowling said.

Legislation authored by Bloom would unify the Department of Health with the Department of Human Services to create the realigned Department of Health and Human Services.

“These two, currently separate departments offer services that often overlap,” Bloom said. “Combining these departments into just one would create a no-wrong-door approach for Pennsylvanians who would continue to receive high quality services under the umbrella of a single department, but in a more efficient and cost-effective manner for taxpayers.”

Walsh’s bill would consolidate the Commonwealth’s workforce development system into one easier-to-navigate system instead of the system being fragmented and spread across numerous state agencies.

“My bill would consolidate workforce development programs within the Department of Labor and Industry, the Department of Community and Economic Development, and the Department of Human Services,” Walsh said. “This proposal would give DCED, the agency that is tasked with keeping current employers in Pennsylvania and bringing new opportunities into the state, the much-needed tools to help connect employers who have job openings with workers qualified to fill them.”

Lastly, Fritz’s bill would remove numerous obsolete state boards or commissions that were never repealed. The agencies are:

• Interstate Rail Passenger Advisory Council
• Pennsylvania Public Television Network Commission
• Canine Health Board
• Community Service Advisory Board
• Industrial Resource Center Strategic Advisory Board
• Small Business Advocacy Council
• Adult Basic and Literacy Education Interagency Coordinating Council (ABLE ICC)
• Advisory Committee on Probation
• Energy Development Authority
• Health Careers Leadership Council
• Joint Committee to Review Cost of Living
• Legislative Representative for Collective Bargaining
• Lobbying Disclosure Regulations Committee
• Pennsylvania Quality Leadership Awards Council
• Tobacco Use Prevention and Cessation Advisory Committee
• Voting Standards Development Board

“Many of these boards and commissions are merely names on paper and have been obsolete for quite some time,” Fritz said. “With spring just around the corner, now is a perfect time for the General Assembly to do some spring cleaning while, more importantly, quite literally reducing the size of government.”

Republican Members of the
Pennsylvania House of Representatives

Media Contact: Greg Gross

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